College charity brings Christmas cheer

Friday, 12 December 2008

Employees at Challenger TAFE’s Fremantle Campus organised a food drive to help needy families this Christmas.

A bright red ute full of food and Christmas cheer arrived at St Vincent’s De Paul to deliver a brighter festive season at a time when many charities are struggling to meet demand.

Course Coordinator, Stephne Ceicys, helped organise the food drive on behalf of the Future Leaders Initiative, a College program designed to instil leadership skills and encourage community-mindedness amongst young staff members.

“It was a very rewarding experience to co-lead the initiative and promote the cause throughout the College. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity of our staff,” she said.

“Sometimes we take it for granted how lucky we really are, and to help those that are less fortunate helps us realise the true meaning of Christmas.”

Mick Paton, a lecturer at the College’s WA Maritime Training Centre – Fremantle, said the program had a dual benefit.

“The initiative helps us to develop professionally, while at the same time providing an opportunity to make a difference in the community,” he said.

“The food drive was a great way of combining the two, and it builds on our past efforts where we’ve organised fundraising for melanoma research,” he said.

Shirley Thomas, from St Vincent De Paul, praised their work, which she said was especially needed in these tougher economic times.

“This wonderful display of charity from the College will help us meet the increased demand this year,” she said.

“We’re seeing more and more cases of homelessness and people with children living in cars, so this will go a long way toward easing the burden for many people.

“We’d like to be doing much more, but we’re frustrated by a lack of volunteers, which means we may have to cut back on our services. Anyone willing to help out is encouraged to contact us.”

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